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The Manor Hagiescu, CaracalCod 1589

An important name in the judicial area of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, Ion Hagiescu-Mirişte was always drawn to art. From its impressive collection of objects he wanted to set up a museum that bequeath to descendants, in Caracal.

Ion Hagiescu-Mirişte studied law in Bucureşti and in Paris, then practicing in the Romanian capital and in Buzau, and later, in 1895, was established in Caracal, the county seat of Romanaţi. He was first president of the Romanaţi Court until 1914, when he was appointed advisor to the Court of Appeal in Constanţa. Passionate about travel and art, Ion Hagiescu-Mirişte he toured not only Romania but also Europe, collecting  from each area various and extremely valuable pieces, which he brought  to Caracal. The magistrate took into account not only the “endowment” of Caracal city with an art museum which he had planned to realize in his later years and to let it in the care of authorities in Caracal, with the condition to forever keep the home as a museum. Ion Hagiescu-Mirişte prouved once more his generosity and his concern for the cultural development of the city, by the fact that he wanted to encourage and financially support local young artists with the funds obtained from the visitors of the future museum. Thus, we learn from “Monography of Caracal municipality” that: „In 1904 he made his will in which he left all his fortune to the Romanaţ county, provided that from it students with talent in sculpture,shall be maintained, so they could study in the country, and abroad in Rome or Paris. ”

In „La Revue de Paris” October 1919 french geographer Em Martonne who had the opportunity to meet Ion Hagiescu-Mirişte on his journey of study in Basarabia, makes a brief characterization of the philanthropist from Caracal. „A real type of a literate magistrate, happy to speak about Paris, where he enjoys to be able to return after five years since he has never been so curious in matter of theater and novel, in fact entirely devoted to his career and with attachement to its mission. He loved his city and fellow citizens and left his house and his rich art collection for a museum. He was a stylish person and he stylized everything, “notes the geographer „.

It died in 1922 without seeing his desires fulfilled. The goods passed into the State property, in the building which was to become a museum were installed offices and his legal heirs have not cared for the collections, storing them in outbuildings inappropriate, where, because of a fire, some were transferred in the basementsof Chintescu houses”, tell the authors of the monography of former county residence, Romanaţi.

In 1949, when in Caracal was founded Thel Romanaţ Museum, 27 paintings from Hagiescu-Mirişte’s collection, signed by N. Dărăscu, Dupont, N. Grimani, O. Obedeanu, Ambrosini, Uberti and other renowned artists were exhibited here. These are the only works of art that have been preserved from the collection of the magistrate, a large number of paintings being sold, many paintings, sculptures being destroyed or lost.

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